News and Opinions

L3: Loving, Living, Leaving (An Indignation Event)

Written by snorkeem on . Posted in Events

sayoni small logo.gifTake a roller-coaster ride from teenage years to adulthood, as queer women from four different generations talk about their perspectives and experiences in coming out, singlehood, relationships, health and ageing.

Enjoy rhapsodies and barrels of laughter as we share and learn from each generation. A lifetime opportunity that you wouldn’t want to miss.

Organized by Sayoni ( – Empowering Asian Queer Women

Date: Saturday, 5 August 2006
Time: 7:30 pm
Admission: Free
Venue: Theatreworks, 72-13 Mohamed Sultan Road

How to get there : 72-13

A better map can be found at :

An invitation from Utopia-Asia

Written by snorkeem on . Posted in Announcements

Eleven months ago Utopia launched its publication division. Since then we’ve published 6 guidebooks under the Utopia banner: the Utopia Guide to China; to Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar & Vietnam; to Thailand; to Singapore, Malaysia & Indonesia; to Japan, South Korea & Taiwan, and to Asia (16 countries). See for more info.

As companions to our 6 guidebooks we want to publish additional volumes under the Utopia banner and would like to invite artists and authors to contribute to the first of these, a collection of short works (10-50 pages would be ideal) by gays and lesbians exploring destinations in Asia. Works should not be extremely “time-sensitive” as the intention is to continue selling this book for years to come.

You may select any location within the region, and any subject you wish to focus on. Essays or stories that touch on gay/lesbian-related subjects will be given priority in the final selection. In addition to non-fiction, works of fiction or poetry are also welcome. Photographs are as well, although these will appear only in black and white.

Content may be erotic but must not be pornographic. Authors retain all rights. Utopia retains the right to edit works as needed. Works should be proofed and spell-checked and submitted in plain text format or Word format.

The book will be distributed by Ingram, the largest distributor in the US. The books will be available in electronic form and will also be available in printed form from major online resellers around the world.

Please contact us for details if you are interested in participating. There will be a fee paid to those selected for publication.

Feel free to submit more than one piece. We are also looking to publish complete works under the Utopia banner, so if you have an Asia-themed novel or other gay/lesbian-Asia related project sitting around gathering dust, please let us know.

We look forward to your participation!

Contact: Utopia, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

PRESS RELEASE: August is Singapore Gay Pride Season again!

Written by snorkeem on . Posted in Events

Indignation 2006, the second annual Gay and Lesbian Pride Season, starts on 1 August and will comprise around 20 events.

The event calendar can be seen at

Like last year, there will be a number of forums on various subjects, from women’s issues to gay marriage, from Indian classical literature to the recent general election.

Well-known writer Christine Suchen Lim will be reading two of her stories on 10 August in the event titled “Mothers at the edge”. Acclaimed playwright Desmond Sim’s new play, “Fairy Godfather” will be given a reading on 12 and 13 August.

Dominic Chua will once again be organising ContraDiction”, an evening of gay poetry, on 3 August.

This year, transgendered Singaporeans will also be having their own dialogue session, also on 3 August.

The organisers of Indignation 2006 are a subgroup from People Like Us, a gay and lesbian group whose mission is public education with respect to sexuality and non-discrimination.

“There is a tremendous amount of energy and creativity among gays and lesbians,” says Russell Heng, one of the organisers. “The pity is that Singapore doesn’t realise the contribution made by gay and lesbian Singaporeans unless one organises a festival like this to showcase it.”

Adds Alex Au: “Nor do many Singaporeans realise that straight people too, e.g. Suchen Lim, one of our contributors, support the message that ignorance and discrimination is wrong.”

“Indignation is a broad tent. Everybody, straight and gay, is welcome to participate,” stressed Kelvin Wong. “And hopefully, people will realise that that party set do not typify the gay community.”

“The ultimate message of Indignation,” says Jean Chong, “is that lesbians, bisexuals, transsexuals and gays are part of Singapore life and members of our families, and we should be asking ourselves, why do we discriminate against our own?”

Agreeing, Miak Siew, who is curating an art exhibition, titled “Sama-sama”, says, “We want to reflect the dreams and aspirations of the gay community as part of Singapore.”

Not all events are serious; Pride Season is interspersed with social evenings for light-hearted fun including an evening of Chinese singing at Xpose cafe and the Great Singapore Makeover at Mox bar and cafe. Tantric Bar is organising Paradise 2006, to celebrate National Day.

The Pride Season will round off with a book launch on 24 August, followed by a chill-out evening at Club95.

For more information, please see:
(email link available from that site)

In the closet no more

Written by (Guest Writers) on . Posted in Coming Out

Today is the first day of me reading your blog. I feel somewhat connected to it, as though it were the story of my life, past, present and future. Everyday I wake up and I am faced with the prospect of living in a close minded society. I live in Malaysia and it being a Muslim country, there are a lot of restrictions and people are narrow minded when it comes to GLBT right. Our mere presence in this society is a burden to them for they see us as parasites, leeches. We bring shame to the community.

However, what they fail to see, I think, is that we are also human. We live and breathe the same air and we need and want the same things. Though we may never have equal rights as those of the straight, we dream of a day when we can hold our partners’ hand in public without glares and sneers from people around us. I have lived my life bending to societal views of me and my kind of people. I have never thought of confronting them about these issues as I find it pointless.

I was previously in a relationship with a closet lesbian. She confided that she indeed loved women however, she was afraid of how people would look at her. I was often ‘left out’ when it came to meeting friends. I was bleeped out as though I didn’t matter and it hurt.

I guess when society does it, you figure that it is society’s blindness and ignorance that makes them behave the way they do. But when your own partner shows you such disdain, such want to hide you and not even regard you enough as a friend to be introduced to her friends, you feel hurt. You feel betrayed. Suffice to say, the relationship didn’t work out. I tried being in the shadows, where she’d rather me be but I found that it was difficult to not be recognised by my own partner.

Recently, I met a girl. She is someone whom I’ve known for a long time but only now, do I have romantic feelings for her. It is amazing how in the short span of a month, she has shown me just what love really is. She is open about her feelings and isn’t ashamed of me. She introduces me to her close friends as her gf and they accept me for that. These are her straight friends, mind you. She has even mentioned to her sister that she has a gf. That meant a lot to me. It showed me that she was not only proud to have me as her gf but that she was proud of ‘us’. She wasn’t ashamed of being a lesbian and neither was she ashamed of being in love.

Me… I’ve found coming out easy. I told my best friend first and her reaction was pure joy. She did not discrimate. She loved me more, in fact. When people ask me if I’m straight, I reply that I do like boys but I now have a gf whom I love very much. Those that judge me, I ignore. Those that are happy for me, I feel happy for them.

To my friends who’ve loved me and accepted me for all that I am, I love you guys. I do. There is nothing more I could ask from you. You have given me love and support even in times when I’ve not asked for it. To my baby. Happy 2 months anniversary. I want you. I need you. Thank you for being the wonderful person that you are.

For you, my first love

Written by ilashes on . Posted in Coming Out

This is a piece of guestwriting by ilashes.
I was what, nine? You would have been hardly older. You were the new girl, the kid who transferred from another school. The maroon skirt had not itself accustomed itself to you. You were tugging on the white shirt, tucked in as per regulations. You looked up, with a brilliant smile on your face.

I would never forget that smile. Even after all these years, that smile remains the one thing I remember the most about you. You never frowned, you never got angry or sad. Always happy, always smiling.

I took you by your hand, showed you around the school. I was so eager to befriend you, knowing how lost you were in this strange world. I treasured every moment with you.

It was the giddy scent of your skin, the wonderfully smooth porcelain complexion. It was every word I had with you. It was your rosy cheeks, your bright, beautiful eyes.

One day, I found myself writing a letter to you, expressing how much I valued our relationship. I do not know what possessed me to write it. But I wanted to do something special, give you something indicative of how much you meant to me.

I put down my pen, and stared at the letter, written in blood-red ink. I did not know why I was writing this. I did not know why I felt like this. I could not have known, not at the tender age of nine. The words on the paper stared back at me – I crumpled it up and tossed it into the dustbin.

Maybe you sensed it... maybe you realized all wasn't right with the way I adored you. Maybe our paths simply diverged. Maybe I distanced myself from you, confused I was by my feelings.

A few days later, you passed me by, with nary a glance in my direction. Watching you walk past with another girl that was just too much. Poison dripped from my tongue, surprising my acquaintance with my antagonism towards you. Her questioning glance made me look away, half-guiltily. How could I explain why I was hurt? I didn't even understand it myself.

I understand fully, now, of course. Every emotion, every childish crushing feeling. I only understood that anger after I fell in love again, with another girl, forcing me to face myself after years of denial.

I still remember your face, you know. I've forgotten the faces of every other playmate I've had at that age. But I remember every single thing about you, down to the distinctive scent of your skin.

It doesn't matter you were never mine. But I thank you, my first love, for opening my eyes to this world. Thank you for making me realize who I am.

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